OH BOY!: Esther Lussan
I've met and been surrounded by extremely dedicated, creative and driven women in the past year. Esther Lussan very easily fit into this group. I often think of how fortunate I am to have been acquainted, and later, worked with, Esther. Also known as Lilian Russell, she is the brilliant mind and designer for her Island Bags brand which I have been sporting and raving about for a long time. I first met Esther earlier this year, in April when I approached her about collaborating for a magazine project. In the time that I have known her, her eye for beautiful things (architecture, doors, nature, and scenery to name a few), and her careful analysis and planning of anything she puts her mind to has been inspiring. I have to say that I owe much to Esther for providing me with opportunities and experiences that I will carry through the rest of my life.
TCA: Give a brief description of yourself as a young girl, and the personality traits that you have taken with you up until now. Looking back at the younger you, what is a previous difficult experience that you are proud of the younger you handling well?
A total tom boy. I'm an only child but I grew up with two cousins on a huge plantation and we spent our days running wild - climbing trees, building rafts for the ponds, riding horses and so on.
An experience that comes to mind is that I am proud I once stood up to a bully. I still abhor people who bully others in any way.
TCA: What are you most proud of achieving "for a girl" that society at that time would not have expected / found acceptable?
I don't really think in terms of "for a girl" and I have always lived my adult life exactly as I saw fit. Perhaps that in itself doesn't always fit with other people's ideas of what they think is appropriate. I have worked and taken care of myself for the most part since I was in my late teens and I have always fairly stubbornly felt like that gave me the rights to do exactly what I wanted at every step of my adult life.
TCA: What do you think the most important lesson that women of today should teach girls; the women of tomorrow?
That girls can do anything they put their minds to. The only limit is your own imagination, so dream big and go for it.
TCA: Do you believe in today’s idea of a “feminist movement” or do you believe in encouraging girls to participate in and achieving anything and everything that they et their hearts on?
I feel like I don't quite know what the modern definition of feminism is. I haven't heard a great definition for it yet. I just know that I feel very strongly about women's rights - as simple as the right to feel comfortable walking down the street without being cat called, or other things like the right to equal pay. The right to feel as though your voice is heard as much as men's. It feels so antiquated and ridiculous to me that women and men are treated with different levels of respect in 2017!
TCA: If there was anything you could say to your 10 year old self, what would it be?
Not to give up ballet (laughs). I moved to a new school at that age, and some of the new extra curricular schedule didn't fit in with my Mum's, so that was that.